Tap That App
Prizmo for iPhoneWe take a look at Prizmo by Creaceed, a small but mighty app that can tear through your photos for text, then save it to your phone or to the cloud.
Welcome to Tap That App, I'm Josh Lowensohn and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. This week's app is Prizmo for the iPhone by Belgium-based developer Creaceed. It's not out yet, but it will be very soon. This incredibly cool app uses the iPhone's camera to scan and process text, so you can get rid of that stack of business cards, or pile of notes, and store everything on your phone instead. To start out, you just tell Prizmo what you want to scan. It does business cards, plain text, whiteboards, and bills. For this demo, we're going to use a business card. The app includes a handy on-screen grid to help you straighten out your shot. Once you've taken a picture, you can rotate it left or right by 90 degrees, crop it, and correct the white balance. This makes it easier for the program to do the next step, which is to pull out all the information. Prizmo uses optical character recognition, or OCR, to grab letters and numbers from your shot. We found it to do a pretty great job at this, though if you're picture is blurry, on a multi-colored background, or you're working with a hand-written note it can bungle it up. Luckily it lets you go in and correct any mistakes it might have made just by tapping on any text field. Once you've captured any text you want to save, you can store it in your iPhone's camera roll, as a personal contact, or a spreadsheet file. The app can also be tied into Amazon's simple storage service, and Dropbox, so you can store your files in the cloud. Beyond business cards and whiteboards, Prizmo even works on receipts, so if you get a big dinner bill, or are trying to manage your finances, you can use the app to record that data. To do this, you snap a picture just like you would with the business card, but this time you'll notice there's this big sideways bar. Just use this to split up the description from the price, and Prizmo puts it into an ordered bill. You can then send or save this as a spreadsheet, or use a built-in bill splitting tool to figure out who needs to pay how much. Prizmo has a few advanced features that make it really unique. One is that it can actually read back text you've scanned with one of 36 international voices. These cost $2.99 a pop, but are very well done. We don't really know why you'd want to use this feature, but it's nice that it's there. The app is also able to translate whatever text you've captured using Google Translate. This is useful if you're trying to translate a dinner menu, or any signage. Though the most impressive feature is that you can use Prizmo to correct photos you've taken with bad perspective. So say you took a shot of a book page, or something square at an angle. You can use the app to make it look just like it would if you were staring straight at it. This works especially well on magazines. Prizmo was just submitted to Apple for approval, and will be on the App Store in early August for around ten dollars. Since it puts so many features into one little package, we think it's a killer deal for the money. Don't forget, that if you've got an app you want us to tap, send us an e-mail at Tapthatapp@cnet.com. I'm Josh Lowensohn, and thanks for watching.